Archive | October 2013

A Moral Revision of Electronic Supply Chains (Guest Post by Bas van Abel, Fairphone)

To make the supply chain more transparent, Fairphone opens up the entire system to understand what shapes our economy. I am happy to share the following guest post by Bas van Abel, CEO and founder of Fairphone. Thank you for contributing to my blog.

Business practices in the supply chains of the electronics industry are in urgent need of moral revision. What do we know about the production of complex electronic devices and the people who make them? By making a phone, Fairphone wants to uncover and expose each link in the supply chain and step-by-step make interventions to improve the way things are made. Instead of hiding behind the complexity of the supply chain, Fairphone wants to unveil the problems associated with the smartphone production like poor labor conditions, the use of conflict minerals and the rise in electronic waste. To do so, we are searching for solutions by engaging in partnerships to come with alternatives to current models. In the first Fairphone that will be released in December 2013, conflict-free tin and tantalum from the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been integrated in the manufacturing of the phone, but that’s only a first step. By growing a movement of people who can share best practices and by creating a platform for discussion, Fairphone aims to raise the bar for the industry meanwhile giving people a choice for fairer electronics.

Bas has a background in interaction design and is an active member of the Maker Movement. He supports open design principles. He has set up projects such as the Waag Society’s Fablab and the Instructables restaurant (an open source restaurant). He is co-editor of the book “Open Design Now”.

SCM Best Paper Award Winners 2013 (1/2)

This year’s CSCMP Annual Global Conference took place in Denver, Colorado. It has become a good tradition that some of the leading journals of our field announce their best paper awards during the CSCMP’s Supply Chain Management Educators’ Conference, the academic part of the CSCMP Conference (see my previous post from Atlanta last year). The best paper published in the International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management is The Impact of Individual Debiasing Efforts on Financial Decision Effectiveness in the Supplier Selection Process by Lutz Kaufmann, Craig R. Carter and Christian Buhrmann. The Bernard J. LaLonde Best Paper Award (best paper published in the Journal of Business Logistics) goes to The Roles of Procedural and Distributive Justice in Logistics Outsourcing Relationships by Adriana Rossiter Hofer, A. Michael Knemeyer and Paul R. Murphy. The quality of these papers has certainly raised the bar for our own manuscripts. Thanks to Christian F. Durach for sending me these entries from Denver. (part 2/2)

Kaufmann, L., Carter, C.R., & Buhrmann, C. (2012). The Impact of Individual Debiasing Efforts on Financial Decision Effectiveness in the Supplier Selection Process. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 42 (5), 411-433 DOI: 10.1108/09600031211246492

Rossiter Hofer, A., Knemeyer, A.M., & Murphy, P.R. (2012). The Roles of Procedural and Distributive Justice in Logistics Outsourcing Relationships. Journal of Business Logistics, 33 (3), 196-209 DOI: 10.1111/j.2158-1592.2012.01052.x

Collaboration Networks, Structural Holes, and Innovation

Recently, I discovered an article by Ahuja (2000), Collaboration Networks, Structural Holes, and Innovation: A Longitudinal Study, which was published in Administrative Science Quarterly. It contains a framework that “relates three aspects of a firm’s ego network—direct ties, indirect ties, and structural holes (disconnections between a firm’s partners)—to the firm’s subsequent innovation output.” The author suggests that “[t]he more direct ties that a firm maintains, the greater the firm’s subsequent innovation output”. Similarly, he suggests that “[t]he greater a firm’s number of indirect ties, the greater the subsequent innovation output of the firm”. Here, the impact of indirect ties “will be moderated by the level of the firm’s direct ties”. These hypotheses are supported by the results of a longitudinal study. Two competing hypotheses are presented concerning the effect of increasing structural holes on innovation. The empirical results indicate that this effect is negative. Ahuja’s article is among the most-cited ASQ articles.

Ahuja, G. (2000). Collaboration Networks, Structural Holes, and Innovation: A Longitudinal Study. Administrative Science Quarterly, 45 (3), 425-455 DOI: 10.2307/2667105

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